Aung San Suu Kyi faced her oppressors last week on charges that could land her in jail for five years. The trial came just days before she was set to be released from house arrest. Her life is on the line. Her health is at risk, and five years of torture and abuse at the infamous Insein prison could spell disaster.
Amnesty International rapid response to these developments started 2 weeks ago in Australia (a member of ASEAN) when the Amnesty section over there mobilized and generated over 7,000 letters to ASEAN. Since then, the chairman of ASEAN called on Myanmar to release Aung San Suu Kyi.
With the international pressure snowballing, it’s time to focus on General Than Shwe, leader of the military junta. Influencing the general is an uphill battle, but Amnesty International has faced these odds before. Last year, AI activists sent tens of thousands of letters on behalf of Ma Khin Khin Leh, another prisoner of conscience in Myanmar. Today, she is free.
Almost 20 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won over 80% of the vote, making her the rightful political leader of Myanmar. The military refused to hand over power, brutally oppressing any dissent, and imprisoning her for 13 of the last 19 years. Since the elections in 1990, her very existence has challenged the military’s authority, and inspired the people of Myanmar to hope.
Aung San Suu Kyi has kept hope alive for the people of Myanmar, even when all hope was lost. Let’s do the same now for her. Click here to take action calling on General Than Shwe to release Aung San Suu Kyi.